The word “Sankalpa’ comes from the combination of san, a connection to the higher Self, and kalpa, a vow, heartfelt intention or way of being. Thus a sankalpa is deep statement about who we are or vow to be, a direction that guides us to our own heart.
Unlike a new years resolution, which is usually something we want to achieve or obtain, a sankalpa is a robust reflection of who we want to be and how we see the world. A sankalpa targets our deepest desire, without presupposing how that desire will be fullfilled.
Often we can use a resolution to uncover our sankalpa. For example, take the following list of resolutions:
- I want to have a doctorate by the time I am 30
- I want to lose 20 pounds
- I want to make more money
- I want to win first place in a competition
- I want to be in a relationship
As you read each of the resolutions above, you can hear the mind at work. There’s judgments in these statements, like we need to be slim to be attractive, or perhaps that we need to be in a relationship. There’s potentially ego involved, like the need to win a competition or get an advanced degree. There may also be fear involved, like perhaps running out of money or of being alone. These resolutions are simply achievements, and possibly transitory ones at best. They are very targeted, as we have removed all alternatives and are focused on a single path to fulfill our desires. They are also perceived solutions to a need/desire…but what is the REAL need/desire? If we focus on the need/desire, we can arrive at the sankalpa. For example, potential sankalpas for the resolutions listed above might be:
- I have a doctorate by the time I am 30 -> I am a healer
- I want to lose 20 pounds -> I love my body
- I want to make more money -> I have abundance in my life
- I want to win first place in a competition -> I am valuable
- I want to be in a relationship -> My life is full of love
When we understand the root of what we are really looking for in our life, we can state it, as though it already exists, and let the universe and our own inner wisdom let events unfold to guide us on that path.
A Sankalpa is a brief statement of our intent, stated in the present tense.